WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #309 here.
It’s Episode 309 and we’ve got plugins for Social Sharing, Top 10 Posts and a Thumbs Up/Down button. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: This week here I have three plugins that I have gone through and reviewed, and the first one here, this one was sent in to us by Ryan, who sent it out on Twitter that he had submitted a plugin. This is the kind of cool thing I like to see from our supporters. You submit the plugin, announce it out on your Twitter feed that you submitted it to us. I responded back to him and looked forward to reviewing it. Thanks a lot, Ryan.
So anyway, from Ryan at gorocketcloud.com, and the plugin is called Social Share Buttons. Now, the lowdown about this plugin here: this is another social share button plugin. There are a lot of those in the WordPress Repository – so many such that you might consider a better name for this, Ryan, than Social Share Buttons, simply because when you enter it into the WordPress dashboard, your plugin doesn’t even show up on the first two pages of listing. At that point there, nobody is going to be hunting. You actually have to hunt this plugin down using the author’s name of Rocket Cloud to find it and that’s how I ended up finding it when I was going to test it, granted you provided me with a copy. But sometimes I like to go to the Repository and just see the process.
So about this plugin, it is pretty decent. It has a good selection of the most used social networks. All you need to do is check a box off on the icons that you want. Then once you’re done with it, you go through and you set up the colors you want the icons to be in, the foreground, the background color of the icons, and then you decide whether you want to have the icons float left, float right, or appear at the top or at the bottom of the post.
I did find that while it’s pretty good, a couple of limitations that I felt it has is that the icons are only square. You can’t get the elongated icons that a lot of people like. You are limited to size of the icon between small, medium, and large. You can’t customize the height too easily and it does not work on at least one theme that I know of. But then again, the theme I was testing it on when it threw this into my sandbox website to test it out, the theme I had installed at the time was a theme that was one of those extensive themes that has all its own stuff in it, so this could not override what they had in there, so they had something to keep this from showing up. But that’s a minor issue.
It works very well with other basic themes and in my test, it’s pretty decent. If you use a standard theme, it should work just fine. All in all, it is a pretty good basic social sharing plugin. So anyway, check it out at WordPress.org and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out: Social Share Buttons from RocketCloud.
Next up, we have a Top 10 – Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress. Now again, there’s a lot of plugins like this one here. But this one is one of the best ones I have used. It’s a pretty extensive top ten posts plugin. You can have it track overall top ten, you can have it track your daily top ten to see what you want. Now, I thought that was a very useful feature; you can track the total top ten for all of the visits to the site or you can track the top ten just for your daily ones.
This is a very useful one. This plugin here came with one of the themes that I purchased for doing a video website and the best feature there is for tracking your top ten videos. Overall in daily, you can set time limits. It comes with a widget in it that you use. With the widget, you can set information on specific widgets or you can go into the overall settings for the plugin, and the overall settings are pretty decently extensive, giving you lots of control over the system itself.
It also has its own built-in cache on here to cache the top tens so that it lowers your overall load on your site if you’re a busy website. It doesn’t have to recalculate the top ten; you can set it so it will cache them for up to an hour and then recalculates it every hour or so. (A much better way of doing it.) That way if you’re a busy site, you’re not constantly running the database figures. You can stylize it, customize it. All in all, it turned out to be one of the best top ten plugins I’ve ever used. And because of that feature there and when you showcase it, you can showcase it as having the featured image with a headline, a featured image by itself, the featured image as a small snippet. There’s lots of ways to display the information. Lots of really good features in this plugin – I’m just getting warmed up with it as I get this one website built out.
Anyway, check it out: Top 10 – Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress and these guys knocked it out of the park, so I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.
My final plugin here today is WTI Like Post. Now this one here is something that adds a thumbs-up/thumbs-down button to your WordPress, and everyone loves thumbs-up buttons, especially like Facebook. But everyone also loves to have that thumbs-down button so when they don’t like something, they can express just as much dislike as they express like.
This one here is a pretty decent plugin for that. It’s very simple, straightforward, you just plug it in, turn it on, and then go through and configure it, tell it where you’re going to connect it up. Now, it looks pretty decent. This website I’m working on right now, the developers of the theme created a special place just underneath the videos in the video frame they built so that people can gives a thumbs-up/thumbs-down for the videos. That’s the reason I ran into this plugin here, so it’s kind of like having your own private thumbs-up/thumbs-down button for videos outside of YouTube or whatever, but this video theme was designed for hosting your own videos, too, which you need something for that.
So anyway, it’s a really great plugin. It is a freemium plugin and they have a premium version. If you get a premium version, go to the pro version which is only $15, so it’s affordable if you need the additional functionality. You can get myCRED points, you can get functionality to show user avatars who like the posts, you can integrate it with BuddyPress, functionality for disabling the plugin CSS file so you can customize it to your theme, options for saving the plugin, more and more. They’ve got a list of 28 different options in here for the pro version. So anyway, check it out. This is a really decent one, a great plugin: WTI Like Post. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
And that’s it for this week. I covered up Social Share Buttons, which I gave a 4 to; Top 10 – Popular Posts Plugin for WordPress, which I gave a 5 to; and then WTI Like Post, which I gave a 4 to.